Originally called the Oyster River Plantation because of its location near the Oyster River, Durham is rooted in colonial history. In the beginning, the area was a part of Massachusetts until New Hampshire started to become its own colony. Durham was incorporated in 1732. The university wasn't founded until much later, in 1866, as the New Hampshire College of Agricultural Arts.
Today, Durham is an energetic college town with a wide range of activities to do near the school. Fortunately, there are many hotels to choose from, whether you want to stay near the college or a bit further away.
When to Visit Durham, NH
The best time to visit Durham is between June and October when the weather is the warmest. The university also happens to be out of session during this time. Unless you were planning on interacting with the school, it is an excellent time to travel to Durham because it will be the least expensive due to the lack of demand. You can expect to get a reasonably priced hotel during this time.
The winter is the second-most popular time to visit Durham, and it's an especially good time for people who want to vacation in the snow. The winter recreational opportunities provide a fantastic way to get a much-needed break. If you plan to visit during this time, expect hotels to cost more and possibly sell out.
During the fall, tourism is slow in Durham. So if you're looking for an affordably priced hotel room, this can be the perfect time of year to go. In the early fall, the weather is still relatively comfortable. If you want to spend time outside, this time is best. In the late fall, the weather becomes cold.
In the spring, the temperature varies from very cold to comfortably warm, so you won't know what kind of weather to expect until closer to your trip. It will be less crowded than during other months, though school is in session during this time so there will be plenty of college students around.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Durham, NH:
Durham by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean price trends by star rating class in Durham, NH. You can use these illustrations to evaluate the best dates to book a room in Durham throughout the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Durham, NH
4 Star Average Prices: $244.33
If a luxury hotel stay is what you 're looking for, you can find several high-quality luxury hotels in Durham. Your first choice would likely be the Marriott Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa. It is located near the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Portsmouth Children's Museum, among many other attractions. It is situated on a sprawling estate that is located near several large bodies of water and an open port where you can park and sail your boat. The hotel sits atop a hill looking down over a mix of forested areas on open water, giving you a great backdrop for events and other occasions.
The rooms are spacious and lavishly decorated with modern and elegant styles. There are a variety of room options available for you to choose from as well, some of which have patios or balconies. If you are planning an event, the hotel has a large event space that can fit up to 500 people and is perfect for a wedding or other classy events.
An alternative option is the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel. It is a great option if you are traveling on business since it has 14 meeting spaces in the hotel, and has a strong history of being a good place for meetings and conferences. The rooms are large and open with several formats to choose from. Many of the rooms use deep Earth tones in their styles, which adds a level of sophistication that most hotels don't have. There are indoor and outdoor pools that have a poolside bar for you to unwind, or you could use the mini bar in your room. Pets are allowed in the hotel in certain rooms, and breed and weight restrictions apply.
Affordable Hotel Options in Durham, NH
3 Star Average Prices: $152.90
In Durham, there are plenty of hotels where you can get a really affordable room. Hampton Falls Inn is a great place to stay in Durham for its location, view, and affordable rates. It's less than a mile from the Seabrook Nuclear Station and several miles from Pettengill Farm. The rooms at Hampton Falls Inn are larger than many other hotels, as they have separate sitting and sleeping space. There's a pull-out sofa in the sitting area in case you need extra sleeping space. The hotel has an indoor pool and spa, and you can spend some time at the casino.
Another affordable option is Motel 6 Portsmouth. Motel 6 rooms have new built-in furniture and contemporary designs. Hardwood floors combined with gray and blue linens and accents give the rooms a modern, stylish feel. Pets are allowed at the hotel. You can relax and regenerate in the hotel's outdoor pool. Parking is free, and the parking lot can accommodate larger travel vehicles. Laundry facilities are available, and Wi-Fi is available for an added fee.
2 Star Average Prices: $125.12
Which Durham hotels have real discounts?
It's possible to find a good discount on your hotel stay when you look in the right places. Fortunately, many of the hotels in the area offer AAA, AARP, senior, military, and government discounts, including La Quinta Inn & Suites in Salem. La Quinta recently renovated many of its hotels to fit its new look, which is more modern and art-focused. You will get to stay in a room that has newer, more modern amenities and furnishings. The hotel has a fitness center and an outdoor pool that you can use to stay in shape. Otherwise, you can use a nearby fitness facility for a reduced rate. If you want a place to relax, you can hang out by the fireplace in the lobby.
Quality Inn in Nashua offers discounted rates for seniors, AARP members, AAA/CAA members, government and military members, and groups. The hotel also offers special corporate rates. The rooms are bright and cheery with new decor that makes you feel at home. You'll enjoy a host of included amenities that you can take advantage of like the free Wi-Fi, parking for larger vehicles, free newspapers, and free breakfast. A dry cleaning and laundry service is available if you need it as well. Because of the central location, you can also take advantage of the limo and town car service to get anywhere that you need to go.
Best Value Options in Durham, NH
Finding a good hotel in Durham is easy since there are many hotels that offer a combination of luxury and affordable prices for the best value for your stay. One of the best value hotels you could stay in is the Red Roof Inn. The rooms are large and well-furnished, with wood floors and warm color choices. The Red Roof Inn is great for business travelers, as a lot of effort has gone into providing better work amenities. The working area features an L-shaped desk with an ergonomic chair. You'll also have access to free Wi-Fi across the hotel. The Red Roof Inn is near many of the attractions in the area, such as Daniel Webster College and Methuen Memorial Music Hall.
Another great place to stay is the Econo Lodge. Its rooms are well-furnished yet simple. You will have all the amenities that you need, including air conditioning, a TV with cable programming, and a free breakfast. The Econo Lodge is a pet-friendly hotel as long as you abide by its breed, size, and number restrictions. The hotel is located near the airport, which makes it a great place to stay if you're flying. Dry cleaning and laundry services are available. If you need a ride to the airport, you can take advantage of the airport shuttle that goes directly to the airport. Visitors traveling in oversized vehicles will find ample parking on site. You can start every day with a complimentary breakfast and free newspaper.
Top Durham, NH, Destinations
In whatever hotel you choose in the Durham area, you'll enjoy a comfortable night in a clean room and easy access to local attractions. If you love to spend time outside, there are many destinations to choose from. You can go to Adams Point, where you can hike on the beach while watching the tide come in. You could also go to Emery Farm to pick your own berries and pet animals in a petting zoo.
For art lovers, the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire is a great place to visit. You can look at one of the rotating fine art exhibits or attend one of the museum's special events, including panel conversations with artists and lectures. The museum is only open seasonally and is closed in the summer.
When you visit Durham, you'll see why many university students have decided to study there. It's a vibrant small city with quaint shops and delicious restaurants, as well as many cultural attractions. A variety of hotels are available in Durham, so you'll be able to find one that meets your needs.
Recent traveler guest reviews of Durham, NH
Below are reviews of the city of Durham, NH from an actual visitor's perspective.
"University of New Hampshire"
Score 4.0 / 5
Loved the city of Durham and being so close to UNH was perfect.
The average traveler rating of the city of Durham, NH shown above is 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews